Category Archives: Health

Boosting Your Energy Naturally, Sans Caffeine

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Boosting Your Energy Naturally, Sans Caffeine

Do you have low energy levels and feel fatigued on most days? Find that you turn to coffee and sugary treats to get yourself through the day? You’re not alone. Our lives are full of long work hours, stressful relationships, and currently a lot of uncertainty, which has resulted in a lack of energy in most of us. Luckily, there are lots of great ways to give yourself a natural boost to get yourself back to being your lively, energetic self – and all without having to indulge in caffeine. Try the following:

Vitamins:

Vitamins, or lack thereof, can play a huge part when it comes to your energy levels and feeling fatigued. Vitamin b12, also known as the energy vitamin, can help give you a big boost and is needed for overall good health. One of eight B vitamins, it helps the body to convert the food that you eat into glucose, therefore giving you energy. It also prevents anemia that can lead to feeling weak and tired and keeps the body’s nerves healthy. Taking supplements is one of the easiest ways of getting your Vitamin b12 intake; however, you can always find the vitamin in foods such as salmon, red meat, feta cheese, and nutritional yeast.

Reduce your carbs:

Ever noticed how after eating a big delicious meal that’s full of carbs, whether that be potatoes, pasta, or bread, you find your eyes starting to close, and an afternoon nap calling your name? That’s because when we eat that big dish full of pasta (AKA excessive carbs), we have a rapid spike in insulin levels, which causes a drop in our blood sugar levels, leaving our bodies exhausted throughout the digestion process.

Now, that’s not to say that you have to take carbs off of the menu, but you should try to avoid simple carbs and replace them with complex carbs instead, to avoid that mid-afternoon slump. Try and add more whole grains into your meal, alongside leafy greens and vegetables, and you will notice that a well-balanced diet will make a massive difference to your energy levels without needing to turn to caffeine.

Remove sources of stress and anxiety:

It is well known that both stress and anxiety take a massive toll on health, including having noticeably less energy. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to boost your energy levels is by removing the sources of stress or anxiety in your life. This also includes relationships and friendships that drain your energy and don’t serve you anymore. While it is impossible to remove all stress from everyday life, there are things that you can do to deal with it more effectively, such as meditation, NAD+, and yoga.

Exercise:

As weird as it might seem, regularly moving your body and exercising is an absolutely guaranteed way to boost your energy levels and make you feel good thanks to the resulting mood-boosting endorphins. It has been proven that a daily short walk can provide a more significant energy boost than even food. Try to incorporate a walk or another physical activity into your daily routine and you will notice that you feel more energetic in no time.

Try the tips above to give yourself an energy boost, the natural way!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Got Body Pain? Check Out These Weird Causes

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Got Body Pain? Check Out These Weird Causes

Fortunately, many of us go through most of our lives in a pain-free state. But sometimes, we get what can only be described as body pain – and it hurts like mad! Body pain, though, doesn’t seem to have any apparent identifiable cause. It tends to erupt out of the blue, making your day a misery.

So what’s behind it? Why does it happen? Here are some weird causes you’d never expect:

Lack Of Water:

Body pain can emerge for all kinds of reasons, including lack of proper hydration. Water is essential for practically all of the body’s vital processes. If you don’t have enough of it in your system, you’ll start experiencing symptoms, none of which are pleasant.

Researchers think that a lack of water causes pain by impairing functions. This state of deprivation then leads to exhaustion, which has knock-on effects on the muscles. Pain can be especially intense if you lack electrolytes in your system. Muscles can go into spasm – and if that happens, you soon know about it.

Insufficient Sleep:

Body pain can also result from a lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your body automatically starts to release more alertness compounds to keep you active during the day. However, when it releases too much, it can leave you feeling panicked and fatigued.

Tissues need adequate rest to keep them supple and functioning adequately. So when you go without sleep for an extended period of time, it can prevent them from carrying out necessary repair work. Eventually, soreness accumulates, and you really start to feel it. If you can’t get enough sleep, try drinking chamomile before bed or listening to soft music. Relaxing the nervous system makes it much easier to get effective shut-eye.

Muscular Imbalance:

Every muscle group in the body has an agonist and an antagonist. The agonist moves a part of the body in one direction, and then the agonist brings it back to the center. However, many people wind up seeing their chiropractor when they have a severe imbalance between the two. When muscles are strong in one direction but not another, it can lead to excess strain on particular muscle groups, causing pain.

Resolving muscle balance is relatively easy. You just need to train in the right way. Focus on strengthening the opposite muscle to make it as strong and robust as the other.

Lyme’s Disease:

Lyme’s disease is a condition caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. People acquire the infection from tick bites. It starts off slow, but if it goes untreated, it can cause extreme symptoms, including exhaustion and hot flashes. You can find out whether you have the condition by taking an antibody test.

Multiple Sclerosis:

Finally, many people in the early stages of MS experience high levels of body pain. Multiple sclerosis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath around nerve cells, causing inflammation and pain. Eventually, the condition progresses to the point where the nervous system can’t transmit signals to the brain anymore. It can also lead to trouble walking.

If you are experiencing prolonged pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor ASAP.

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Consistently Meet Your Health Goals

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How To Consistently Meet Your Health Goals

Explore a Range of Treatments to Your Problems:

Whatever existing health problems you might have, it’s important to approach those problems in a range of ways. If you try different treatment options you’ll find the one that works for you much sooner. Things like Functional Medicine and other alternative options might provide you with benefits as well as regular mainstream treatments. It’s up to you to explore the options out there and find the right way forward for you.

Get Help and Support from Others:

There’s no need to go at it alone when you’re trying to get in shape or improve your health. Health professionals as well as personal trainers can help you get to where you want to be. You can get help and support from friends and work out together. Having that extra person working out alongside you can really spur you on and provide you with the motivation that you need.

Remember Physical and Mental Health Go Hand in Hand:

One thing that many people get wrong is thinking that there’s a disconnect between physical and mental health, but that’s not the case. You should remember that these things go hand in hand. When you get one right, it’ll help the other. So when you’re trying to reach your health goals, you should also try to make sure that you pay attention to your mental health too.

Consistency and commitment are key when you’re attempting to reach your health goals month after month and year after year. The tips and ideas we’ve discussed above will help you to get this right and ensure your health comes first, which is the way it should be.

Featured Image By:  Pixabay

How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

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How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

Hello! A follow up question that Johnny and I usually get asked after “what do we do all day?” while in quarantine is “how do you go out?”. The answer? Very carefully, of course! Other than going to work, we limit ourselves to one to two individual errands per week and we always have our face masks on and hand sanitizer at the ready.

As far as grocery shopping goes, I try to do a big shopping haul once a month. My supermarkets are trying to social distance the best they can with one way aisles but I feel like not everyone cares to use them. So, if groceries are needed, I try to go first thing in the morning before stores get too crowded.

If there’s a random place we need to go to like the gas station, bank, etc. both Johnny and I formulate a game plan that will get us in and out the quickest. We also have masks and sanitizer on hand in our cars in case we need to make an unexpected stop. It’s just best to be prepared, is all.

Finally, as you all can see, I got my hair and my nails done. How did I do that? Very carefully, of course! Lol, actually, all of the salons I go to for my beauty treatments are being exceptional at following the highest safety precautions. I was informed by either the owners of the salon or an employee of what was being done to keep everyone safe and I felt comfortable with all of the measures being taken. Like the following:

  • Getting your temperature taken before entering.
  • Masks required by all (Employees and customers).
  • Washing hands required immediately after entering.
  • Limited number of employees and customers in at one time (Under ten).
  • Way beyond six feet of room between everyone for social distance standards.
  • Plexiglass between employee and customer (At nail salon).
  • Sanitizing after each customer.

With all of the amazing steps being taken to keep each salon up and running safely, I felt okay going in to get pampered. I spread each appointment out by a week or two so I wasn’t going out too frequently and I was so happy each time because I felt safe and totally awesome after going months without being able to go to a salon.

Johnny and I are taking all of this craziness in stride and are living our lives right now by doing only what makes us feel comfortable. How we feel might not be the same as everyone else but it works for us and that’s all that matters to me. ❤

What social distance standards did stores in your area put in place? Are masks required where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Unlocking Your Health Through Vital, Practical Means

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Unlocking Your Health Through Vital, Practical Means

When it comes to optimizing and even unlocking our best health, it can be hard to know where to begin. Sometimes, it can seem most evident in the mini-decisions we make each day. Choosing to walk up the stairs at work rather than take the elevator, for instance, can burn off a few calories and get our heart pumping in a way it might not have otherwise. Adding this up over the course of very many months, and you might be better off for it.

Yet it can be hard to measure small efforts like this, despite how worthwhile they are. When it comes to true health improvement we want to know that it’s having an effect and we want to feel the difference in advance. So, how can we do this? Furthermore, how can we be sure the pursuit we’re taking on that journey is practical, backed by the science, and also something we can sustainably commit to?

Of course, no health advice column will help you perfect your particular needs, but you can be nudged in the right direction. As always, be sure to speak to your doctor regarding any changes you make to your lifestyle, first.

Posture & Physical Care:

Your posture is important to consider, because it can mean plenty for your digestive system, how comfortable you feel during the day, and your core strength. Of course, physical care cannot be forced, sometimes you’re lacking in flexibility or sometimes you need OPA orthopedic care to help better manage your physical limits as you grow in potential. When you can better manage your body’s strength and flexibility, you will enjoy a marked increase in your health.

Reducing & Addressing Stress:

Stress can be a big problem. It can cause neurodegeneration, impact your sleep, and even affect your appetite. From taking walks in nature and reading to meditating and exercising regularly, you can manage and directly address your stress levels. If you live a relatively high-impact life with intense workloads, this can be a fantastic new set of schedule assertions to make. Stress, if managed, can be felt and then easily expressed rather than being bottled up and causing you untold physical and mental health damage.

Diet Is Everything:

You’d be surprised how much your diet can impact your life. From how it influences your gut flora to your skin condition and how well you sleep at night, a good diet can improve your life in almost every way. Calculating your macros with an app and scanning the foods you eat can be a worthwhile approach to take and you might find that good supplementation is key. Many people are vitamin D deficient, for instance, and so understanding what this means and how to remedy it can help you unlock the doors of your health and push them open just a little wider.

With these starter ideas, we hope you can further unlock your health via vital, practical, and sustainable means.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Face Mask Festivities: Actual Face Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Actual Face Mask Edition

Hello!!! My county board of Developmental Disabilities has been doing a wonderful job of educating and protecting all of their employees and the people we help. Earlier in May, a care package was delivered to me that was filled with games and activities to help entertain my clients while in quarantine.

This month, a box of personal protective equipment was dropped off and I was able to divvy up the goods between all of the families I serve. I even got to keep two cloth face masks for myself and Johnny. I was so happy because I’ve been meaning to buy cloth masks for a while but never did because Johnny and I have been using the disposable hospital masks.

I love that the cloth masks can be reused and, while they may seem thicker than the disposable masks, I feel that they are so much more breathable. I also am a huge fan of the paisley pattern on mine! Check it out:

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Normally, I would go for the plain black mask that I chose for Johnny but the bright orange and yellow on mine just made me happy. In fact, I didn’t even mind putting it on when I ran into the store. Summit DD provided me with a lot of pattern options from polka dots and paisley to rainbow and regular, solid colors. Each of my clients enjoyed picking out their favorite and I enjoyed knowing that they had an extra way to keep them safe.

Are face masks the most fun thing to wear? No! Especially if you wear glasses, lol. But, my new cloth mask certainly makes, what I feel is an obligation, a whole lot easier. ❤

What pattern is on your face mask? Do you prefer cloth or disposable masks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Embracing Your Inner Gym Bunny

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Embracing Your Inner Gym Bunny

While in lockdown, you may have been hankering for your gym sessions and you now have to make do with some at-home exercise. This will suffice for now, but what about when you can go back to the gym? Times will have changed, and there will be a new normal that you have to adjust to. You will have to remain socially distant, classes may only involve a handful of people, you may need to buy your own equipment, and hand sanitizer will become your best friend. Take a look at why you should *safely* embrace your inner gym bunny when lockdown ends:

The Range Of Exercise:

If you are used to doing twenty minutes on the cross trainer, a 5k run on the treadmill, and pumping some iron in the weights area, then an aerobics class as seen at YouTube.com at home simply isn’t going to cut it. Being able to work a wider range of muscle groups and having the equipment to tailor your workout so that it is bespoke to you is only available at a gym. While you might not be paying your full subscription fee each month at the moment, you will relish having the chance to when you can get back to a spin class and enjoy your HIIT workout once again.

While you are indoors a little more, take the chance to hone a new workout plan for when you do head back to the gym. If you are keen to lose the weight in your arms or you want to strengthen your core, construct a workout plan specifically for these areas using the many free guides available on the Internet.

Gear:

If you are looking to head back to the gym, make sure that you look the part. You want to be turning heads for all of the right reasons, so go to a site like curvesncombatboots.com and check out their achingly cool leggings and awesome tops so that you look amazing when you venture to do some exercise for the first time in ages. Pair your clothing with some new running shoes. While you might not fancy heading to the high street or the mall, there are plenty of online retailers with some excellent discounts at the moment. Take advantage of them while they are trying to encourage more shoppers back to their stores.

Classes:

While classes may be smaller, having an instructor in front of you yelling at you to go faster can actually be inspiring and make you work harder. Finding your mojo at home when watching a YouTube session or when trying to go for a jog outside can be tough. Sometimes, you need that expert to encourage you. Classes range from Zumba to box-fit and from spin to circuits. Each of these classes will help you to shift the pounds and tone up. You will also find that your dopamine levels increase negating the cortisone levels in your bloodstream. This can make you feel more positive, content, and happier in these uncertain times.

Venturing to the gym was something that we used to take for granted. Follow this guide, and enjoy embracing your inner gym bunny in the post-pandemic world.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

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Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

When practicing social distancing by staying at home, it can be difficult to keep your physical health in check. It’s no longer possible to go to the gym, run an organized race, or meet up with your sports team. And our normal food, sleep, and hygiene routines have gone out the window. Much has been said about how to look after your mental health in these stressful times, but your physical health is important too. We don’t know how long social distancing measures will be in place, so it is crucial that you stay on top of your fitness now and don’t wait until the lockdown is over.

If you are struggling to look after your health in lockdown, here are a few tips to help you:

Have a routine:

With your professional and social life on hold, all sense of routine has disappeared. You might feel there’s no need to establish a schedule for your days when you barely leave the house, but this may be more damaging to your health than you think. A lack of structure in your life can make you less motivated to look after yourself and promote bad habits regarding eating, sleeping, and exercise. Establish a framework to your days by getting up and going to sleep at regular times, and sticking to set meal times. Plan your days to fit in healthy activities and use the extra time productively.

Get enough sleep:

These are stressful times, and many people are struggling to sleep right now. The quantity and quality of sleep have a huge impact on your mental and physical health. If you don’t get enough, you may find yourself with weakened immunity, cognitive impairment, weight gain, and a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Go to bed and wake up at regular times, and make an effort to reduce your exposure to phones and social media in the hours before bed, as these will only impact your sleep further.

Be active every day:

The lockdown has made it harder to motivate ourselves to exercise, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day will make you stronger and fitter, as well as reducing your risk of almost any health condition, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and cancers. Not to mention the mental health benefits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a brisk walk or an online fitness class or a yoga session, schedule in some activity every day, and you will soon feel the benefits.

Eat well:

When you’re always within a stone’s throw of your kitchen, it can be hard to eat right all the time. Although comfort food can be beneficial now and then, you need to maintain a balanced diet if you want to avoid health problems. Avoid the temptation to order takeout and start preparing yourself nutritious meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and take care to reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake.

As well as taking these steps to maintain your physical health, it is also crucial that you deal with any new or existing health conditions promptly. You can talk to a doctor online about any medical concerns, so you don’t even have to leave the house. Stay well!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Happy (Early) Birthday Present To Me

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Happy (Early) Birthday Present To Me

Hello! If you follow me on Facebook (at Sarah Mushenheim), then you will have seen my musing that I officially feel like a grown up because I asked my parents for an electric toothbrush for my twenty-sixth birthday. After a visit to the dentist, we both agreed that I could benefit from an electric toothbrush and I planned on ordering one off of Amazon once I got home…

But, then, I remembered it is almost my birthday (on the seventh) and it couldn’t hurt to ask. My mom kindly offered for me to pick out an electric toothbrush for my big 2-6 and, thanks to my boyfriend being an amazing sport: IT’S PINK! Check it out:

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My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have wanted an electric toothbrush for a while and after using it one time, I have no idea what we were waiting for! We both agreed that our teeth have never felt cleaner after an at home brushing before and I know that my dentist will be pleased with the results of this here Philips electric toothbrush.

Not only does this model leave my teeth feeling literally Arctic Fresh but it is so adorable I can hardly stand it. Why would I want a blue or white toothbrush when I can have the sweetest cotton candy pink?! It was also a great deal on Amazon, as you could get the toothbrush and a replaceable brush head set as a bundle. #SCORE

Is an electric toothbrush the most exciting birthday gift? Actually, YES. Johnny and I love it, I love the color, and it was exactly what I wanted. So here’s to turning twenty-six with better teeth, I guess?! 😀

How did you celebrate your last birthday? Have you made the change from a regular to electric toothbrush? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Hidden Dangers Of The Daily Commute

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The Hidden Dangers Of The Daily Commute

Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy, many of us used to travel to work. (Do you remember those days?) But even back then, the subject of the commute was a thorny one. Employers expected you to spend large parts of your day sitting on buses and trains to get to the office. And they didn’t usually pay for it (even if it was a necessary cost of the job).

The commute, though, could be more dangerous to you than you think. It’s not just a matter of getting to and from work and the time you lose. It could also be taking its toll on your health.

It Is Hazardous:

Getting on the train to go to work seems like a perfectly normal and safe thing to do. After all, workers have been alighting at railway stations ever since the Victoria era. Trains, though, are hazardous. Accidents are waiting to happen around every corner.

Research suggests, for instance, that the average worker faces risks around 32 times every week when they use trains to get to work. Being packed into a tin can with dozens of other people and having to navigate the step down to the platform is dangerous. The chances of a slip or fall are high, especially when workers are in a rush and their minds on other things. Data from the UK suggest that 1.7 million people have to take time off work every year because of injuries they sustain while commuting.

The risks are even higher than that, though, in some cases. One of the worst New York city derailments of all time, with more than 200 people sustaining injuries, occurred in Union Square in 1991, proving that accidents can still happen on the railway.

It Could Damage Your Body Clock:

Evolution designed humans to wake up with the rising sun and go to bed soon after it sets. Modern working lives, however, disrupt this natural process. We’re no longer in a routine. Instead, we organize our lives around our shift patterns – and they’re not always healthy.

The commute may actually make things worse. When you get on a brightly-lit train or bus in the morning or evening, you send signals to your body that it is day time, and you should wake up. Suddenly, your body releases a flood of hormones designed to perk you up and give you a buzz. When this happens in the morning, it is healthy. But when it occurs at night, it is anything but. You wind up fizzing all evening, and when you hit the sack, you can’t sleep.

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Pixabay Image

It Could Affect Your Cardiovascular System:

Finally, commuting to work could harm your cardiovascular system. The combination of sitting still for a long time with the added stress of being around so many people can lead to increases in blood pressure. When your body goes through this daily, it can lead to conditions like hypertension, which are risk factors in more severe diseases. Standing up more on transport may help.

Stay aware during your commutes to work and keep yourself and those around you safe.

Featured Image By: Pixabay